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Songs of the Year

Songs of the Year: 1976

Disco Duck was a number 1 hit. That’s about all you need to know about 1976.

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It’s the American bicentennial, what does that have to do with music? Nothing! Stevie Wonder dominated the year with his Songs in the Key of Life, but Queen, Genesis, Bob Dylan, Aerosmith, Kiss, Thin Lizzy and a host of others all had solid albums. Also disco and funk were big.

On the horizon: new wave, NY art scene, metal and more offshoots as music becomes even more diverse and wide open.

The year is 1976 and we’re picking our favorite songs of the year.

It’s a simple concept. We pick five of our favorite songs that made the Billboard Top 100 (established in 1958) during any time that year. We also select five “wildcards” that can be any songs released as a single or on an album or EP that year. Finally, we also pick our “worst” song of the year, just for fun.

We started in 1958 and we’re going until we run out of years.

Silly Love Songs, Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, Disco Lady… the top singles of 1976 were duds.

Number ones of the year include Saturday Night by the Bay City Rollers, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover by Paul Simon, December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night) from the Four Seasons, Afternoon Delight by Starland Vocal Band, Play That Funky Music by Wild Cherry, Disco Duck by Rick Dees and His Cast of Idiots, If You Leave Me Now by Chicago and Tonight’s The Night (Gonna Be Alright) by Rod Stewart.

Not great, Billboard!

Standings So Far

Kramzer and Joe teamed up once again to take down Jason as their Thunder Road ran roughshod over The Band’s appropriately titled It Makes No Difference. Joe now has the overall lead for the first time this series and Kramzer has pulled to within three of Jason for second.

Another deep cut selection for Jason in ’76 but Kramzer should win lots of votes from the prog rock crowd. Can they take down Joe’s way too obvious choice, or will he find another win with Queen?

Joe: 9
Jason: 8.5
Kramzer: 5.5

Vote

Which Was the Best Song of 1976?

  • Somebody to Love by Queen (47%, 71 Votes)
  • Squonk by Genesis (30%, 46 Votes)
  • The French Inhaler by Warren Zevon (23%, 34 Votes)

Total Voters: 151

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Best Songs of the Year Playlist

Best Songs of the Year | 1976 | Spotify Edition

Best Songs of the Year | 1976 | YouTube edition

Worst Songs of the Year Playlist

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PsychoMoonRider

Had never heard “Squonk” or “The French Inhaler” but since “Somebody To Love” is one of my least favorite Queen songs I checked them both out. Really liked “Squonk” but I can’t take Zevon’s voice on that particular song, so I voted for Genesis.

Dan O

My favorite songs of 1976:
Rank Title-Artist
1. LOVE IS ALIVE – GARY WRIGHT
2. SLOW RIDE – FOGHAT
3. FOX ON THE RUN – SWEET
4. MORE THAN A FEELING – BOSTON
5. DO YOU FEEL LIKE WE DO – PETER FRAMPTON
6. DON’T FEAR THE REAPER – BLUE OYSTER CULT
7. LAST CHILD – AEROSMITH
8. SAY YOU LOVE ME – FLEETWOOD MAC
9. LORELEI – STYX
10. MAGIC MAN – HEART
11. FOOLED AROUND AND FELL IN LOVE – ELVIN BISHOP
12. GROW SOME FUNK OF YOUR OWN – ELTON JOHN
13. EVIL WOMAN – ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA
14. SING A SONG – EARTH, WIND AND FIRE
15. HIGHFLY – JOHN MILES
16. CRAZY ON YOU – HEART
17. MORE, MORE, MORE – ANDREA TRUE CONNECTION
18. ROCK N’ ME – STEVE MILLER BAND
19. SHOW ME THE WAY – PETER FRAMPTON
20. DEVIL WOMAN – CLIFF RICHARD
21. SHOUT IT OUT LOUD – KISS
22. ACTION – SWEET
23. LOVE REALLY HURTS WITHOUT YOU – BILLY OCEAN
24. TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN – STEVE MILLER BAND
25. LIVIN’ THING – ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA
26. MONEY HONEY – BAY CITY ROLLERS
27. LOVE ROLLERCOASTER – OHIO PLAYERS
28. NIGHTS ARE FOREVER WITHOUT YOU – ENGLAND DAN AND JOHN FORD COLEY
29. HOME TONIGHT – AEROSMITH
30. BARETTA’S THEME (KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE SPARROW) – RHYTHM HERITAGE
31. LOVE HURTS – NAZARETH
32. DREAM WEAVER – GARY WRIGHT
33. YOU SHOULD BE DANCING – BEE GEES
34. TAKE IT TO THE LIMIT – EAGLES
35. LOWDOWN – BOZ SCAGGS
36. GETAWAY – EARTH, WIND AND FIRE
37. DON’T GO BREAKING MY HEART – ELTON JOHN AND KIKI DEE
38. DECEMBER 1963 (OH, WHAT A NIGHT) – FOUR SEASONS
39. RUBBERBAND MAN – SPINNERS
40. PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC – WILD CHERRY

Dan O

More of my favorite songs of 1976:
41. I’LL BE GOOD TO YOU – BROTHERS JOHNSON
42. SLIP KID – THE WHO
43. SHE’S GONE – DARYL HALL AND JOHN OATES
44. STILL THE ONE – ORLEANS
45. DREAM ON – AEROSMITH
46. TEAR THE ROOF OFF THE SUCKER (GIVE UP THE FUNK) – PARLIAMENT
47. LOVE IS THE DRUG – ROXY MUSIC
48. YOUNG HEARTS RUN FREE – CANDI STATON
49. LET YOUR LOVE FLOW – BELLAMY BROTHERS
50. TAKIN’ IT TO THE STREETS – DOOBIE BROTHERS
51. YOU SEXY THING – HOT CHOCOLATE
52. YOU’RE MY BEST FRIEND – QUEEN
53. GOT TO GET YOU INTO MY LIFE – BEATLES
54. SILLY LOVE SONGS – PAUL McCARTNEY AND WINGS
55. LIVIN’ FOR THE WEEKEND – O’JAYS
56. THEME FROM MAHOGANY (DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING TO) – DIANA ROSS
57. BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN – THIN LIZZY
58. BABY, I LOVE YOUR WAY – PETER FRAMPTON
59. BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY – QUEEN
60. TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT (GONNA BE ALRIGHT) – ROD STEWART
61. RHIANNON (WILL YOU EVER WIN) – FLEETWOOD MAC
62. LOVE MACHINE – MIRACLES
63. STRANGE MAGIC – ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA
64. LOVE HANGOVER – DIANA ROSS
65. ROCK AND ROLL LOVE LETTER – BAY CITY ROLLERS
66. WITH YOUR LOVE – JEFFERSON STARSHIP
67. YOUNG BLOOD – BAD COMPANY
68. MOONLIGHT FEELS RIGHT – STARBUCK
69. RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED FROM – MAXINE NIGHTINGALE
70. LOVE ME – YVONNE ELLIMAN
71. 50 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR LOVER – PAUL SIMON
72. DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’ – OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN
73. SQUEEZE BOX – THE WHO
74. TURN THE BEAT AROUND – VICKI SUE ROBINSON
75. DISCO LADY – JOHNNIE TAYLOR
76. OB-LA-DI, OB-LA-DA – BEATLES
77. IF YOU LEAVE ME NOW – CHICAGO
78. YOU ARE THE WOMAN – FIREFALL
79. GOLDEN YEARS – DAVID BOWIE
80. OVER MY HEAD – FLEETWOOD MAC
81. (THE SYSTEM OF) DR. TARR AND PROFESSOR FETHER – ALAN PARSONS PROJECT
82. KISS AND SAY GOODBYE – MANHATTANS
83. ROCK AND ROLL ALL NITE – KISS
84. I WANT YOU – MARVIN GAYE
85. CAN’T LET A WOMAN – AMBROSIA
86. TAKE IT LIKE A MAN – BACHMAN-TURNER OVERDRIVE
87. SARA SMILE – DARYL HALL AND JOHN OATES
88. FOPP – OHIO PLAYERS
89. LOVE BALLAD – L.T.D.
90. LOOKIN’ OUT FOR # 1 – BACHMAN-TURNER OVERDRIVE
91. SWEET LOVE – COMMODORES
92. GET CLOSER – SEALS AND CROFTS
93. MAMMA MIA – ABBA
94. TRACKS OF MY TEARS – LINDA RONSTADT
95. CAN’T HIDE LOVE – EARTH, WIND AND FIRE
96. YOU ARE MY STARSHIP – NORMAN CONNORS
97. COUNTRY BOY (YOU GOT YOUR FEET IN L.A.) – GLEN CAMPBELL
98. BREAKAWAY – ART GARFUNKEL
99. THEME FROM “S.W.A.T.” – RHYTHM HERITAGE
100. HAPPY MUSIC – BLACKBYRDS

Dan O

More of my favorites of 1976:
Rank-Title-Artist
101. SHINE ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND – PINK FLOYD
102. ALL BY MYSELF – ERIC CARMEN
103. ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC – BEACH BOYS
104. IT’S A LONG WAY THERE – LITTLE RIVER BAND
105. TODAY’S THE DAY – AMERICA
106. UNION MAN – CATE BROTHERS
107. HELLO OLE’ FRIEND – ERIC CLAPTON
108. FLY AWAY – JOHN DENVER WITH OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN
109. FANNY (BE TENDER WITH MY LOVE) – BEE GEES
110. THAT’LL BE THE DAY – LINDA RONSTADT
111. I ONLY WANT TO BE WITH YOU – BAY CITY ROLLERS
112. WHO LOVES YOU BETTER – ISLEY BROTHERS
113. JUST YOU AND I – MELISSA MANCHESTER
114. THAT’S WHERE THE HAPPY PEOPLE GO – TRAMMPS
115. SHERRY – KEANE BROTHERS
116. I LOVE MUSIC – O’JAYS
117. SWEET THING – RUFUS FEATURING CHAKA KHAN
118. WELCOME BACK – JOHN SEBASTIAN
119. HARVEST FOR THE WORLD – ISLEY BROTHERS
120. A LITTLE BIT MORE – DR. HOOK
121. WHO’D SHE COO – OHIO PLAYERS
122. SPIRITS IN THE NIGHT – MANNFRED MANN’S EARTH BAND (MICK ROGERS ON VOCAL)
123. I WRITE THE SONGS – BARRY MANILOW
124. T.N.T. – AC/DC
125. WRECK OF THE EDMUND FITZGERALD – GORDON LIGHTFOOT
126. [IT AIN’T NOTHIN’ BUT A] HOUSE PARTY – J. GEILS BAND
127. BLUE GUITAR – JUSTIN HAYWARD AND JOHN LODGE
128. FOOL TO CRY – ROLLING STONES
129. WHAM BAM – SILVER
130. I GOT TO KNOW – STARBUCK
131. LONELY NIGHT (ANGEL FACE) – CAPTAIN AND TENNILLE
132. STILL CRAZY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS – PAUL SIMON
133. NUTBUSH CITY LIMITS (LIVE) – BOB SEGER & THE SILVER BULLET BAND
134. LOOKING FOR SPACE – JOHN DENVER
135. ONLY SIXTEEN – DR. HOOK
136. THERE’S A KIND OF HUSH (ALL OVER THE WORLD) – CARPENTERS
137. I DO, I DO, I DO, I DO, I DO – ABBA
138. NEVER GONNA FALL IN LOVE AGAIN – ERIC CARMEN
139. MISTY BLUE – DOROTHY MOORE
140. SHOP AROUND – CAPTAIN AND TENNILLE
141. SHOWER THE PEOPLE – JAMES TAYLOR
142. (SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE) SHAKE YOUR BOOTY – K.C. AND THE SUNSHINE BAND
143. I’D REALLY LOVE TO SEE YOU TONIGHT – ENGLAND DAN AND JOHN FORD COLEY
144. HEAVEN MUST BE MISSING AN ANGEL – TAVARES
145. ONE LOVE IN MY LIFETIME – DIANA ROSS
146. CANDY STORE ROCK – LED ZEPPELIN
147. SUMMER – WAR
148. SPRINGTIME MAMA – HENRY GROSS
149. THE FEZ – STEELY DAN
150. SIXTEEN TONS – DON HARRISON BAND
151. DEVIL WITH A BLUE DRESS – PRATT AND McCLAIN
152. GET UP AND BOOGIE – SILVER CONVENTION
153. ONLY LOVE IS REAL – CAROLE KING
154. IN FRANCE THEY KISS ON MAIN STREET – JONI MITCHELL
155. WAKE UP EVERYBODY – HAROLD MELVIN AND THE BLUENOTES
156. HOWZAT – SHERBET
157. BOOGIE FEVER – SYLVERS
158. I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE (EDIT) – CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL
159. I FEEL LIKE A BULLET (IN THE GUN OF ROBERT FORD) – ELTON JOHN
160. FOOL FOR THE CITY – FOGHAT
161. LET ‘EM IN – PAUL McCARTNEY AND WINGS
162. ROXY ROLLER – SWEENY TODD
163. SUPERSTAR – PAUL DAVIS
164. YOU’LL NEVER FIND ANOTHER LOVE LIKE MINE – LOU RAWLS
165. SERENADE – STEVE MILLER BAND
166. TVC 15 – DAVID BOWIE
167. DO IT WITH FEELING – MICHAEL ZAGER’S MOON BAND FEATURING PEABO BRYSON
168. IT’S OKAY – BEACH BOYS
169. PLAY ON LOVE – JEFFERSON STARSHIP
170. I’VE GOT A FEELING (WE’LL BE SEEING EACH OTHER AGAIN) – AL WILSON
171. THIS MASQUERADE – GEORGE BENSON
172. JUKIN’ – ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION
173. BETH – KISS
174. JANUARY – PILOT
175. SATURDAY NIGHT – BAY CITY ROLLERS
176. JUST TO BE CLOSE TO YOU – COMMODORES
177. HURRICANE – BOB DYLAN
178. HAPPY DAYS – PRATT AND McCLAIN
179. IT’S ONLY LOVE – ZZ TOP
180. GIVE IT UP (TURN IT LOOSE) – TYRONE DAVIS
181. ANYTHING YOU WANT – JOHN VALENTI
182. MADEMOISELLE – STYX
183. GOTTA GET AWAY (FROM YOU) – FIRST CHOICE
184. AFTERNOON DELIGHT – STARLAND VOCAL GROUP
185. LOVE IN THE SHADOWS – NEIL SEDAKA
186. DON’T PULL YOUR LOVE/THEN YOU CAN TELL ME GOODBYE – GLEN CAMPBELL
187. TENTH AVENUE FREEZE-OUT – BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
188. A FIFTH OF BEETHOVEN – WALTER MURPHY AND THE BIG APPLE BAND
189. SOMETHING HE CAN FEEL – ARETHA FRANKLIN
190. ANOTHER RAINY DAY IN NEW YORK CITY – CHICAGO
191. GIMME YOUR MONEY PLEASE – BACHMAN-TURNER OVERDRIVE
192. WINNERS AND LOSERS – HAMILTON, JOE FRANK AND REYNOLDS
193. NOBODY’S FAULT BUT MINE – LED ZEPPELIN
194. FERNANDO – ABBA
195. HARD WORK – JOHN HANDY
196. I NEVER CRY – ALICE COOPER
197. HIT THE ROAD JACK – STAMPEDERS
198. EVERY FACE TELLS A STORY – OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN
199. TRYIN’ TO GET THE FEELING AGAIN – BARRY MANILOW
200. IT’S OVER – BOZ SCAGGS

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